All throughout my cooking career, I have always been partial to Asian food. It's just what my palate has woken up to. I also love that there's a certain mystique with each country's cooking style and ingredients that really is hard to master due to it being passed down from generation to generation within the family. Some of these ingredients can, at times, be a little intimidating to incorporate to our daily menus. That's the nature of the beast, though, isn't it? If you happen upon a certain ingredient that you've been curious about, pick it up and try it out. We often get stuck with the same routine dishes that we make for our family day in and day out that we forget that there's a world of ingredients out there that definitely deserve to find their way in to our pantries and plates. They don't need to be these exotic and expensive items either. Just new to you ingredients will suffice.
So on our recent trip to the Asian market I decided to pick up some Kecap Manis and Brown Beech Mushrooms. So the same old stir fry was a little different this time around... in a good way. I've always loved Kecap Manis. It's seasoned Indonesian sweet soy sauce and it just does wonders for certain dishes. Think of it as a Teriyaki sauce with a tinge of garlic and anise.
The Brown Beech Mushrooms are a bargain at about a dollar for a package. They have a more pronounced flavor than button mushrooms so if you aren't a mushroom fanatic, go easy on them and see if they're a keeper in your repertoire. Like most mushrooms,though, they take in flavor quite well, specially in intense flavored Asian cooking. They might even be a good meat substitute for you vegetarians out there. Stay tuned for that one....
Chicken and Brown Beech Mushroom Stir Fry
1 lb chicken breast thinly sliced on a bias
1 package of Brown Beech mushrooms (trim off base and separate)
1 medium sized onion sliced in to half inch thick slices
5 heads of garlic minced
4 tablespoons Kecap Manis
2 tbsp oyster sauce
black pepper to taste
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water
5-6 tbsp of vegetable oil
cilantro for garnish
cilantro for garnish
marinate for chicken
thumb sized ginger peeled and sliced thin
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sesame oil
in a bowl, add the sliced chicken, ginger salt and sesame oil. massage well. then add the cornstarch and water. massage meat well then keep in fridge for at least an hour.
Heat a wok until it is smoking. In batches, cook off the chicken meat then set aside.
Add about 3 tbsp of oil and once the wok starts to heat up again, add the mushrooms and keep stirring until they have softened a bit. about 2 minutes
Next, add the garlic and onions and stir fry for about 30 seconds.
Then add your chicken, stir for another minute then add the Kecap Manis, oyster sauce and black pepper.
serve right away with steamed rice and enjoy!